Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2233177 Summary

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(12) Patent Application: (11) CA 2233177
(54) English Title: BIRD SCARING APPARATUS
(54) French Title: DISPOSITIF DESTINE A EFFRAYER LES OISEAUX
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC): N/A
(72) Inventors :
  • LEWIS, ELEANOR JANE (United Kingdom)
(73) Owners :
  • RUGFLEET LIMITED (United Kingdom)
(71) Applicants :
  • LEWIS, ELEANOR JANE (United Kingdom)
(74) Agent: NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT CANADA LLP/S.E.N.C.R.L., S.R.L.
(74) Associate agent:
(45) Issued:
(86) PCT Filing Date: 1996-09-25
(87) Open to Public Inspection: 1997-04-03
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

(30) Application Priority Data:
Application No. Country/Territory Date
95 19681.2 United Kingdom 1995-09-27
96 11273.5 United Kingdom 1996-05-30

English Abstract




Apparatus for scaring birds from a particular area has a housing (10) within
which is provided an electric motor (13) driving a vertically extending shaft
(17). A three-dimensional object (18) is mounted on the shaft (17) externally
of the housing (10), which object has a number of highly reflective surfaces
(19). Typically, the object (18) may be a tetrahedron constructed from three
mirrors each of equilateral or isosceles shape, with the apex (23) uppermost
and on the shaft axis. The motor (13) may be powered by an accumulator, a
panel of solar cells or low voltage electricity transformed from the domestic
mains supply.


French Abstract

Ce dispositif, destiné à effrayer les oiseaux pour les éloigner d'une zone particulière, présente un logement (10) à l'intérieur duquel on a monté un moteur électrique (13) entraînant un axe (17) vertical. On a monté un objet (18) tridimensionnel sur l'axe (17), à l'extérieur du logement (10), lequel objet présente un certain nombre de surfaces (19) fortement réfléchissantes. De manière classique, cet objet (18) peut être une pyramide réalisée à l'aide de trois miroirs, chacun de forme équilatérale ou isocèle et dont le sommet (23) est placé vers le haut et sur l'axe de l'arbre. Le moteur (13) peut être alimenté par un accumulateur, un panneau de cellules solaires ou un courant basse tension transformé à partir de l'alimentation domestique par secteur.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.


- 9 -
CLAIMS

1. Bird scaring apparatus comprising a plurality of
highly reflective surfaces arranged to form a
three-dimensional multi-faceted reflecting object, and power
drive means arranged to support the object and to
effect rotation of the object about a substantially
vertical axis.
2. Bird scaring apparatus as claimed in claim 1,
wherein the angle between the horizontal and at least
some of the reflecting surfaces externally of the three
dimensional object is greater than 90°, so that those
reflecting surfaces face upwardly away from the axis of
rotation.
3. Bird scaring apparatus as claimed in claim 1 or
claim 2, wherein each reflecting surface is
substantially planar.
4. Bird scaring apparatus as claimed in any of the
preceding claims, wherein the reflecting surfaces are
arranged as a pyramid with the apex uppermost.
5. Bird scaring apparatus as claimed in claim 4,
wherein the pyramid has three similar reflecting
surfaces arranged on a triangular base.
6. Bird scaring apparatus as claimed in claim 4 or
claim 5, wherein the apex of the pyramid lies
substantially on the axis of rotation of the power
drive means.
7. Bird scaring apparatus as claimed in any of
the preceding claims, wherein each said reflecting
surface comprises a mirror.
8. Bird scaring apparatus as claimed in claim 7,
wherein at least some of the mirrors are tinted.
9. Bird scaring apparatus as claimed in any of the
preceding claims, wherein the power drive means
includes an electric motor drivingly connected to the
multi-faceted reflecting object.


- 10 -
10. Bird scaring apparatus as claimed in claim 9,
wherein the electric motor is one of battery-operated,
powered by solar cells, or by low voltage electricity
transformed from the domestic mains supply.
11. Bird scaring apparatus as claimed in claim 9 or
claim 10, wherein the object is carried on a shaft
arranged for rotation about said axis, and the motor is
drivingly coupled to the shaft to cause rotation of the
shaft at a rate of from about 25 to about 50
revolutions per minute.
12. Bird scaring apparatus as claimed in claim 11,
wherein the shaft is caused to rotate at a rate of from
30 to 35 revolutions per minute.
13. Bird scaring apparatus as claimed in any of the
preceding claims, wherein means are provided to cause
rotation of the object only during daylight hours.
14. Bird scaring apparatus as claimed in any of the
preceding claims, wherein the power drive means is
contained in a water-proof housing.

Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.

CA 02233177 1998-03-26

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BI ~ SC~RING APPAE~TUS


This invention relates to bird scaring apparatus,
such as may be employed in an agricultural environment,
to discourage birds from eating or otherwise damaging
growing produce, fish or the like, or to discourage
birds from invading an industrial environment such as
an oil rig or an airport.
There have ~een many proposals for agricultural
and horticultural bird scaring apparatus. At the
simplest, such apparatus may comprise no more than a
rigid figure arranged in a field, in the hope that it
will discourage birds from alighting on and then eating
growing produce. The effectiveness of such a
traditional "scarecrow" may be enhanced by suspending
from it shiny objects which will move in the wind, so
that birds will be distracted by the varying reflected
light. Despite that, such equipment performs only
relatively poorly~
Other proposals use sound, in an attempt to scare
away birds. For example, one known form of apparatus
is arranged to fire an explosive cartridge at regular
: intervals and relies on birds being frightened away by
the unexpected noise. It is also known to use ultra-
sound, particularly when only a relatively small area
is to be protected - such as a pond, to scare away
fishing birds.
The present invention aims at providing a
relatively simple form of apparatus which nevertheless
is effective at scaring away birds, from a significant
area.
Accordingly, the present invention provides bird
scaring apparatus comprising a plurality of highly
reflective surfaces arranged to form a three-
dimensional multi-faceted reflecting object, and power
drive means arranged to support the object and to

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effect rotation of the object about a substantially
vertical axis.
Most preferably, the angle between the horizontal
and at least some of the reflecting surfaces,
externally of the three dimensional object, is greater
than 90~. In this way, said at least some of the
reflecting surfaces will face upwardly away from the
axis of rotation. In this case, the rotation of the
reflecting object catches light as it rotates, sending
back into the sky reflected beams of light, especially
when the sun shines. Trials have shown that these
reflected beams are unexpectedly effective at scaring
away birds ~rom around the area where the apparatus has
been installed.
In a preferred embodiment, the reflecting surfaces
are arranged to provide a three-dimensional object in
the form of a pyramid with the apex uppermost.
Advantageously, such a pyramid has three similar
reflecting surfaces arranged on a triangular base -
that is to say, the reflecting object is in the form of
a tetrahedron. In a case where the reflecting object
is in the form of a pyramid, the apex of the pyramid
should lie substantially on the axis of rotation of
that object.
Trials and tests on the apparatus have shown that
the angle each reflecting surface of the reflecting
object makes to the horizontal is important, having
regard to the intended use of the apparatus. I have now
found that different birds will be scared by different
reflecting angles and the configuration of the
reflecting object should be selected having regard to
the target to be protected and also the kinds of birds
to be scared by the apparatus. The internal angle (of
the three-dimensional object) each reflecting surface
makes with the horizontal may vary from an acute angle

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- 3 -

through substantially vertical to an obtuse angle to
the horizontal.
In addition, there may ~e advantages in providing
differently coloured reflecting surfaces on the
reflecting object. For some applications, simple
silvered mirrors, reflecting all light falling thereon,
may be sufficient. For others, all of the reflecting
surfaces may be tinted with the same colour - for
example, it has been found that orange-coloured
reflecting surfaces are particularly effective when
pigeons are to be targeted. Another possibility is to
tint adjacent faces of the reflecting object with
different colours. For example, it has been found that
by colouring two faces red and leaving the third face
of the reflecting object to reflect all light, good
results are obtained with rooks and crows.
The power drive means conveniently includes an
electric motor drivingly connected to the multi-faceted
reflecting object. Such an electric motor may be of
the low-voltage kind so that it may be powered by a
battery, such as a lead-acid accumulator of the type
employed in motor vehicles. This has the added
advantage of being relatively safe, even should the
apparatus inadvertently become wet for example during
periods of rain. To minimise the likelihood of this,
the power drive means may be contained in a waterproof
housing.
When the apparatus is intended for domestic use,
to scare birds from a relatively small vegetable plot
in a garden or possibly from a pond, it is convenient
to provide an electric motor to effect rotation of the
reflecting object which motor is powered by the
domestic mains supply. However, in the interests of
safety, it is preferred for the motor to require
relatively low voltage AC or DC, and for the power for
that motor to be transformed from the 240v domestic

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mains supply down to a safe voltage such as 12v. If
appropriate, the alternating current supplied ~rom a
transformer may be rectified for powering a DC motor.
Another possibility would be to provide a bank of
solar cells which may supply current to a rechargeable
battery and for the electric motor to be powered by the
battery. The battery should have a suitable capacity
to ensure the motor may be driven for extended periods
when there may be no sunshine, but as at least some
sunshine may be expected most days during the growing
season, the capacity of the battery may be
significantly smaller than would be required in the
event that no solar recharging arrangement were
provided.
Rather than employing solar cells to effect
recharging of a battery, wind power could be employed
for this purpose, provided the apparatus be installed
at a sufficiently exposed location. Wind power
probably would not be suitable for use in a domestic
garden, but could be used agriculturally, in a field.
An alternative possibility for domestic use would be to
employ a clockwork mechanism, which could be wound up,
say, once every 24 hours and provide sufficient energy
to effect rotation of the reflecting object at a
relatively slow rate, for at least the hours of
daylight.
It will of course be appreciated that the
reflecting object need not be rotated during the hours
of darkness since there are few birds active then, and
in any event there is little light to be reflected from
the reflecting object. Consequently, it is preferred
for the apparatus to include switch means to inhibit
rotation of the object other than during the daylight
hours. Such switch means could be light-activated or
could be in the form of a time switch which may be
preset to turn on and off at pre-selected times.

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- 5 -

If the reflecting object is rotated continuously
during daylight hours, birds could become used to the
reflections and so ignore it. To prevent this
happening, there could be advantages in having the
J 5 power drive means arranged to operate cyclically, for
pre-set on periods alternating with pre-set off
periods. Further benefits may be obtained if these on
and off periods are of variable lengths, either
randomly or following some pre-determined regime.
Experiments have shown that the performance of the
apparatus may be optimised by an appropriate selection
of the rate of rotation of the reflecting object. In
the case of a pyramidal three-dimensional object, it is
preferred for the object to be rotated at a rate within
the range of from about ~5 to about 50 rpm.
Particularly good results have been obtained with a
rotational rat~ in the range of 30 to 35 rpm.
By way of example only, certain specific
embodiments of the present invention will now be
described in-detail, reference being made to the
accompanying drawings, in which:
Figure 1 is a vertical section through a first
embodiment of bird scaring apparatus constructed and
arranged in accordance with the invention;
Figure 2 is a cross-section through line II-II
marked on Figure 1;
Figure 3 is a partial sectional view through a
second embodiment of bird scaring apparatus; and
Figures 4 to 6 show alternative embodiments of
bird scaring apparatus of this invention.
In Figure 1, there is shown a housing 10 having a
removable side wall (not shown) and in which may be
located -a lead-acid accumulator 11 such as a
conventional 12 volt car battery. Mounted in the lid
12 of the housing 10 is an electric motor 13, the
connecting wires 14 of which are suitably terminated,

CA 02233177 1998-03-26

W O 97/11600 PCT/GB96/02394

to permit those two wires to be connected to the two
terminals respectively of a battery located in the
housing. For example, the wires could be provided with
screw-eyes, as shown, or for convenience of connecting
and disconnecting the battery, the wires could carry
bulldog clips. In an alternative arrangement, the
battery could be arranged externally to the housing
10, in a separate enclosure.
Mounted in the lid 12 of the housing is a
photocell 15, connected back to a suitable switching
arrangement in the motor casing. For example, a solid
state switch could be employed, connected to supply
power to the motor 13 only when the ambient light
exceeds some pre-set value.
The motor output shaft is coupled to a coaxial
gearbox 16 which has a shaft 17 projecting through the
lid 12 of the housing. A suitable seal (not shown) is
provided around that shaft, to prevent the ingress of
water, neither to the gearbox nor to the interior of
the housing.
The apparatus further comprises a reflecting
three-dimensional object 18, in the form of a
tetrahedron made up from three similar planar mirrors
19 (only one of which is visible in the drawing), each
of equilateral shape, and a base panel 20 of the same
shape and dimensions of the mirrors 19. A circular
face plate 21 having a boss 22 is attached to the base
panel 20 such that the axis of the boss 22 passes
through the apex 23 of the reflecting object 18. The
boss 22 fits on to the output shaft 17 from the
gearbox; a pin may pass diametrically through both the
boss and the shaft, or the end of the shaft may be D-
shaped ana the aperture in the boss may be similarly
shaped, so that rotation of the shaft is imparted to
the reflecting object 18.

CA 02233177 1998-03-26
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The motor and gearbox are arranged so that in use,
the object 18 will rotate at about 30 to 35 rpm. The
housing should be positioned in an area to be protected
so that the reflecting object is above the level of the
growing produce. Tests and trials have shown that
light reflected from the object serves unexpectedly
well at discouraging birds from alighting on the
growing produce.
Figure 3 shows apparatus similar to that of Figure
1 and like parts are given like reference numerals;
those parts will not be described again here. The
apparatus of Figure 3 employs a housing 25 having a
lower profile than the housing 10 of Figure 1, and
instead of incorporating an accumulator within that
housing, power for the motor 13 is obtained from a
solar cell panel 26 fitted in the lid 27 of the
housing. There is no need for a separate photocell,
for the solar cell panel 26 will not generate
sufficient power to rotate the object 18 other than
when the daylight intensity exceeds some m; nl m~lm value.
It will be appreciated that in general, there is
no need for an area to be protected other than during
the hours of reasonable levels of daylight, since birds
do not normally feed on crops during the hours of
darkness or when it is raining.
Figures 4 to 6 show three alternative arrangements
from those of Figures 1 and 3. Any of these three
further arrangements could use the housing assembly of
either of these two Figures, but in Figure 4, the boss
30 is formed as an elongate shaft so that the
reflecting object 18 is situated at a relatively great
height above the housing 10. Such a configuration may
be used with growing crops such as wheat, in which
case, the length of the boss 30 might be 500-750mm, or
so.

CA 02233177 1998-03-26
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- 8 -

In the embodiments of Figures 5 and 6, the
reflecting object is constructed from triangular panels
31 and 32 respectively, which panels are of isosceles
shape. The panels 31 shown in Figure 5 have a
relatively short base and long sides, to give an object
with a small included angle at the apex. The panels 32
shown in Figure 6 have a relatively long base and short
sides, to give an object with a large included angle at
the apex.
Though the objects described above are all tetra-
hedrons, objects of other shapes could be employed.
For example, the objects could be pyramidal, and so on
a square base. Alternatively, more complex three-
~;men~ional objects could be employed, possibly having
the reflecting surfaces at various angles to the
horizontal.
The shape and configuration of the three-
dimensional object, and also of any tinting applied to
the reflective surfaces, may be selected having regard
to the birds expected to be in the area where the
apparatus is to be positioned. The apparatus may thus
be "tuned" to the particular birds in order to optimise
the scaring effect.

A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

For a clearer understanding of the status of the application/patent presented on this page, the site Disclaimer , as well as the definitions for Patent , Administrative Status , Maintenance Fee  and Payment History  should be consulted.

Admin Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date Unavailable
(86) PCT Filing Date 1996-09-25
(87) PCT Publication Date 1997-04-03
(85) National Entry 1998-03-26
Dead Application 2004-09-27

Abandonment History

Abandonment Date Reason Reinstatement Date
2003-09-25 FAILURE TO REQUEST EXAMINATION
2003-09-25 FAILURE TO PAY APPLICATION MAINTENANCE FEE

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Application Fee $150.00 1998-03-26
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 1998-09-25 $50.00 1998-08-03
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 1999-09-27 $50.00 1999-07-21
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2000-09-25 $50.00 2000-09-05
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 5 2001-09-25 $75.00 2001-09-25
Registration of a document - section 124 $100.00 2002-08-08
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 6 2002-09-25 $75.00 2002-09-24
Current owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Current Owners on Record
RUGFLEET LIMITED
Past owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Past Owners on Record
LEWIS, ELEANOR JANE
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.

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Document
Description
Date
(yyyy-mm-dd)
Number of pages Size of Image (KB)
Representative Drawing 1998-07-08 1 7
Cover Page 1998-07-08 1 45
Abstract 1998-03-26 1 45
Description 1998-03-26 8 362
Claims 1998-03-26 2 69
Drawings 1998-03-26 2 33
Assignment 1998-03-26 3 123
PCT 1998-03-26 10 297
Assignment 2002-08-08 5 148